Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CMC Beginner/Intermediate Class Review

Many of you know from my previous posts that I took Suzanne Deans On The Road Color Me Creative Classes.  These classes are a great way to get some hands on face to face instruction with Suzanne.  I have really enjoyed her free You Tube videos but nothing compares to having the one on one interaction.  She  individually looked at our work and provided individual feedback for each technique.  She would even jump in with a marker to show us what we needed to do, if needed.  I highly recommend the classes.  I have not taken any of her online Copic classes (yet) so I cannot offer a comparison.  I do plan on taking some of her online classes as well.  Suzanne stated that completing both of her On The Road classes gets you about half way through the techniques covered in her Online Copic 2 class.  Based on the Online class descriptions and what we actually did in class, I’d say we also touched on techniques in the Copic 3 class.

The class description below is taken from her class website followed by my review.  Visit CMC Road website here for more details, class schedule and availability.

Beginner/Intermediate Class
You will learn how to get comfortable with the markers, learn light sourcing, shading
and highlighting along with other practical techniques to bring your coloring to life!
*briefly learn about the basics of Copics and how they work/tips & tricks
*get comfortable with the markers and laying down color lightly
**Learn how to "f-l-i-c-k" layer/blend colors
*choosing successful color combos and layer colors
*learn about light sources and how to create dimension in your coloring
*shading and highlighting techniques (light & shadow)
*creating good skin tone and hair colors
*shading round objects
*coloring white
*Bridging Colors
*multi-liner pens & Spica pens
*Colorless Blender Techniques/Review
*Blues, Pinks, Browns, Yellows

My Review
At first I wasn’t sure if I needed to take the Beginner/Intermediate class.  I had never classified myself as a beginner or advanced user.  I am just a Copic user.  I had taken a couple classes at my local LSSs (I’m fortunate to have multiple LSSs).  I had seen many of Suzanne videos from a year ago.  I practiced off and on and was actually pleased with how I colored most my images. My method for coloring was similar to Suzanne’s “f-l-i-c-k” technique.   The reason I decided to take the Beg/Int class is because I wanted to improve my techniques for light sourcing, shading round objects and coloring and shading hair .  I tend to ALWAYS light source from the upper right.  I’m not sure why, because my desk light is on the left. My images also have very dull hair and not shiny, healthy, superstar hair.  Looking back at some of my images from class, I’m quite impressed with center light sourcing and my new hair techniques. 

At the beginning of the class she took some time to discuss the Copic baisic.  This part I already knew.  After that portion, there was never a time when I felt like I had made a wrong choice.   Once we picked up the markers we colored for the entire class with the exception of the 35 min break we had for lunch.  Throughout the class Suzanne provided tips, tricks and some of her latest color combos and findings.   In hindsight, the class was a must for me.  The class includes a step my step manual on the techniques we used in classes plus many more.

If I had to offer a suggestion for improvement, it would be to include at least one darker skin tone since I find the darker skin tones harder to blend.  Suzanne does have a You Tube video on coloring African American skin and hair.  I refer to it from time to time.  The technique is also covered in the manual from the class. 

Suzanne provided two types of paper for us to use: Cryogen White and Copic XPress.  The Cryogen white has a subtle iridescent finish so it sparkles.  This is my new favorite paper for Copics.  I will be ordering this.  The Copic XPress paper worked well too.  It just doesn't give that nice sparkle that the Cryogen does.

We colored many different images. Since I know many of you want to see some of the images i did, here are a few of my favorites. 
This is the first image we did with center lighting.  I really like this light source.  You can see from my image that I still have some practicing.  That bun....oh my.  The Copics and I were not seeing eye to eye on that bun.  I have some extra images of her so I'm going to find a way to fix that bun and still use her.  

 This is another center light source.  I need to rework her hair in the back because I don't like how the edges turned out.  A great thing about Copics is that I can continue work on this image even though it has been over a week since I last worked on it.

 In this image you can see the shimmer that the Cryogen white paper gives. 

For this bear I was trying to show him as white by giving him some shading and adding some background color.  I plan to go back and give him more shading contrast. 

I hope my review was helpful.  Suzanne's class was beneficial to me.  If you want to improve your Copic skills, consider checking out her online or on the road classes. 

I'll be back to post my review of the advanced class.


  1. Carla, It was nice to hear all about your "On The Road" class with Suzanne. I definately have to make the next one that comes around here. Your work looks great. I love how you did the dress in the first picture. Keep up the great work. Talk Soon

  2. Stunning coloring Carla!!! I especially loooove that midnight blue dress ~ gorgeous. :)

  3. You did a wonderful job. I think you really enjoyed Suzanne classes.

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Suzanne's class. I hope she will be in my area again when I can attend her classes too. I am taking the on-line classes and have learned way more than I ever thought a "marker" class could offer.
    Your coloring is gorgeous!

  5. So glad you could come to class Carla and hope you haven't "abandoned" any more images, LOL! Glad you enjoyed class and thanks for the honest review--you are too sweet!